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Play your part in the Wisbech High Street Project

The team working on the Wisbech High Street Project will be holding an informal event in the town next week to show people how the scheme is progressing and get their feedback.

Wisbech

They are also inviting members of the public to help produce an eye-catching new hoarding for one of the High Street properties.

The event will be in Wisbech Market Place on Thursday, August 6 (9.30am-3pm).

Earlier this year Fenland District Council received initial support1 for a £1.9m Townscape Heritage bid2 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Wisbech High Street Project.

The project, led Fenland District Council and the Wisbech Society, aims to deliver the restoration of a number of buildings and facades on Wisbech High Street, alongside the re-use of the Cook's Butchers site as an area of public realm.

In particular, design work has been progressed for the proposed new public space on the site of the former Cook's Butchers shop and the architects are keen to hear what people think of the emerging ideas.

As part of the event the College of West Anglia as a key partner in the project will be giving people a chance to try their hand at some practical construction skills. 

The college's construction faculty is providing space and equipment for people to have a go at laying some decorative paving and the art department will be encouraging people to help create a huge new stencil image.

Councillor David Oliver, FDC's Cabinet member responsible for conservation, said: "Over the past year or so we have had some really successful consultation events on this project that have helped us get this far.  Ideas are now really starting to come together and we want to share them with the community and get their feedback.

"The Cook's Butchers site will become a new public space for Wisbech and we want to make sure local people have their say in its design.  We have a team of fantastic architects working on the whole High Street project and we are keen to produce something that future generations look upon with pride.

"Next week's event is another good chance to learn more about the project and tell the team what you think."

For more information visit  https://wisbechhighstreet.wordpress.com and www.facebook.com/wisbechhighstreetproject.

ENDS
For more information contact Fenland District Council press office on 01354 622226 or Ingham Pinnock Associates on 0797 436 3991
Background Notes to editors:

¹ An HLF Townscape Heritage (TH) first-round pass means that money has been set aside by HLF.   The applicants can then progress to the second round and send a detailed second-round submission to secure the full award.  This early level of strong financial commitment means that THs can build strong partnerships with the assurance that funding for their scheme is in place provided their final proposals fully meet the programme criteria.

² THs encourage partnerships of local organisations to carry out repairs and other works to a number of historic buildings, structures or spaces. Grants are available from £100,000 up to £2m.  The next application deadline is 1 September 2015 with decisions being made in January 2016. 
 
To date, HLF has invested £243m regenerating towns that have suffered serious social and economic decline.

Project aims

By focussing on physical improvements to the High Street and a comprehensive range of educational activities the proposed Townscape Heritage project seeks to address the long-term cycle of decline by delivering:

• High quality physical improvements to a prominent part of the town centre including the introduction of new commercial, community and residential uses
• A comprehensive range of formal and informal heritage learning and engagement opportunities
• A renewed sense of ownership and pride in local people for their town.

The HLF funding, matched by contributions from building owners, is sought to undertake structural and external repairs to buildings, bring vacant units back in to use and repair architectural detail.

Alongside physical works to buildings, the HLF requires the funding to be used to engage the community in the project, by means of a series of projects and programmes. Together they make up an Activity Plan that has been designed in partnership with a range of community groups.  The emerging Activity Plan includes opportunities for local people and businesses to get involved in heritage through education, training and leisure activities. Amongst many others, proposed activities include:

• Formal post-16 / adult training in conservation construction with practical restoration projects
• Accredited building maintenance courses for owners, stewards, occupiers
• Community archaeology events
• Interior and shop front design work experience with students from the Thomas Clarkson Academy
• The involvement of NEETs (young people not in employment, education or training) in the restoration work
• Expanding and capitalising on the national Heritage Open Days programme

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @HLFEoE

For more information, contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6036 or 07973 613820